Like any other criminal charge, a person charged with driving under the influence (DUI) is presumed innocent until he/she is proven guilty. If you are found guilty, the penalty will depend on the state law, as well as on any other circumstances, e.g., if there was an open bottle of liquor in the car; and your cooperation with the police. The following are the penalties for a DUI charge:
In all states, first-offense DUI is a misdemeanor, and punishable by up to six months in jail. This jail time can be increased under certain circumstances. In some states, if the blood-alcohol content at the time of arrest was very high and crossing the legal limit of 0.08%, the punishment can be more severe.
In most states, a minimum jail sentence of at least several days on a first offense is required. Subsequent offenses will result in a jail sentence of several months to a year.
For a DUI that is a felony because either the driver killed or injured someone, or because it’s your third or fourth DUI, a jail sentence of several years can be given.
Courts also impose high fines for a DUI in addition to a jail sentence. This can range from $500 to $2,000.
Your license can be suspended for a considerable period of time. In many states, a first time offender’s license can be suspended for 90 days. A second time offender’s license can be suspended for one year; and a third time offender’s license can be suspended for three years. If you refuse to take a blood, breath, or urine test, it can result in license suspension. In some states, if you are a repeat offender, you may not be allowed to get back on the road. Your registration can be canceled temporarily or permanently and the state may confiscate your car.
In most states, the legal drinking age is 21. A minor who is arrested for driving while under the influence will not get any respite from punishment. Adult sentences on minors can be imposed, and their license suspended for one year.
Other Forms of Punishment
In many states, a court sentence may include alcohol education and prevention programs, rehabilitation for alcohol abuse, assessment of a person for alcohol or drug dependency, and community service or victim restitution. If you are a first time offender, these programs can be recommended instead of jail time or paying fines.
Your insurance company may also cancel the insurance policy or increase the rates because of the mark on the driving record. A DUI charge stays on a person’s driving record for many years. If your license is suspended, the insurance company may cancel the insurance policy.
Get in Touch with Defense Lawyer from The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC
After being convicted under DUI charges, you can still protect your rights. You have the right to contact your DUI defense lawyer. We will work to protect your rights, and fight on your behalf to avoid a serious criminal conviction. Get in touch with The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC You can call us at (800) 889-3129 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.